James E Berner, a lifelong resident of Woodstock, Ill., departed this earth for eternal life early Saturday morning, Sept. 21, 2019. He died peacefully in his sleep at the young age of 88, having entered life on Dec. 29, 1930. He is the oldest child of Pia and Joe Berner.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Edith; two sons, Jim (Thomasina) and Bill (Ginny) Berner; along with four grandchildren, Maverick, Audrey, Irene and Maximus. He is survived by three sisters, Patricia Stilling, Mary Jean Goulet, and JoAnn (Ralph) Larsen, along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Richard; brothers-in-law, Roger Stilling, Don Huff and Larry Goulet; and a nephew, Steven Stilling.
James was a graduate of St. Mary Grade and High Schools, as well as DePaul University undergraduate and Law School. After receiving his undergraduate degree , he spent time in the Marines, where his sergeant “ordered” him to leave and attend law school. (Thank you Sergeant, for your service.)
As a life-long citizen of Woodstock, he was a proud member of St. Mary parish, along with many organizations including the Knights of Columbus, Lions Club, the Illinois and American Bar Associations. James was a gentlemen farmer since 1973, when he purchased a farm in Richland County, Wis. He enjoyed traveling to the farm and in the early years was heavily involved with the dairy operation. Even though he could no longer travel to the farm, he was keenly interested in updates and seeing pictures from recent visits.
He enjoyed being a grandfather and spending time with his grandchildren and hearing about all their adventures in life. He spent his time looking at their pictures while passing the days catching up on the missed episodes of “Gunsmoke,” “MAS*H” and other (somewhat) recent TV shows he had not previously watched.
Friends and family will gather on Friday, Sept., 27, 2019, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary Catholic Church, 312 Lincoln Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery. A luncheon buffet will be served at noon at the Woodstock Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Mary School at 312 Lincoln Ave., Woodstock, IL 60098.
For information, contact the funeral home at 815-338-1710, or visit slmcfh.com.